Ashley Madison threatens to sue CasualX over copyright

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Cheating app Ashley Madison found popularity in fuelling infidelity and allowing people to cheat on their partners discretely. 

Now it is threatening a rival app called ‘CasualX’ with legal action for stealing its slogan. 

CasualX, which promotes itself as ‘the Tinder for one night stands’, has come under fire for similarities in its marketing slogans and imagery.

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This image is the one believed to have been copied by CasualX. The 'shush' gesture as well as the characteristics of the photo are protected thanks to trademark, according to Ashley Madison

This image is the one believed to have been copied by CasualX. The ‘shush’ gesture as well as the characteristics of the photo are protected thanks to trademark, according to Ashley Madison

2015 DATA LEAK 

In 2015, hackers outed millions of cheating spouses using the Ashley Madison infidelity website by publishing all their personal details and sexual fantasies online. 

At the time Ashley Madison had 37 million members around the world including 1.2 million Brits. 

A 9.7 gigabyte data file of their details was posted to dark web. 

Contained private data including name, address, phone number and credit card.

Data dump also has their sexual fantasies, ideal partner and profile photo.

Owners described the hack as an ‘act of criminality’ and have called in the FBI.

Ashley Madison’s Canadian parent company, Ruby Life, has called on Hong Kong firm CasualX to stop using a picture of a masked woman pressing a finger to her lips, which is allegedly similar to one used in adverts for the cheating site.

It has also taken issue with the app’s ‘Life is boring. Desire a fling?’ advertising strapline, which Ruby Life feels is too similar to the phrasing of Ashley Madison’s ‘Life is short. Have an affair’ 

MailOnline has obtained a copy of the communication between the two companies.

In it, a lawyer for the infidelity said: ‘The main/memorable elements that will be remembered by any consumer would be flowing hair, a finger raised to the lips and the mask.’ 

Discussing the slogans used by both firms, they added: ‘The only two differences in the slogans are the presence of the words “boring” versus “short” and “desire” versus “have”. 

‘In fact, even I, being a trademark lawyer, made a mistake of replacing “fling” with “affair”.’ 

Ruby Life owns Cougarlife, which ‘helps vibrant, mature women connect with younger, interested men’.

It also operates Established Gentlemen, an app that ‘connects ambitious and attractive young women with successful, generous men.’

Ashley Madison, which has roughly 40 million monthly users, is the most popular of its portfolio of apps and sites.

Ruby Life says that ‘the distinctive elements of our design mark include a female face, an index finger pressed to the lips and the flowing hair’ and lawyers believe that a court would rule in favour of them. 

The images used by the rival sex apps both contain ‘a female face, an index finger pressed to the lips and the flowing hair.’ CasualX has nearly 4 million users compared to Ashley Madison’s 40 million 

CasualX argue that their image is ‘unique’ and ‘the woman in the [Ashley Madison] image wears a wedding ring which indicates that their service is for married people. 

‘Our image doesn’t have a wedding ring.’

Ruby Life, previously Avid Life Media, originally demanded the removal of the slogan and image in question by the tenth of December, but this has now been extended.

Jeffery Zhang, co-founder of CasualX told the MailOnline: ‘CasualX was once featured in Apple trending apps list and on many media sites. 

‘The branding image has been seen by many people. 

‘If we have to change it, we have to spend a lot of time and money to reshape our branding.’

Ashley Madison told the Metro: ‘As the premier married dating site, AshleyMadison.com is known around the world, with trade and copy marks holding significant value. 

‘The company you mention is using our trademarks and we have kindly asked that they refrain from doing so.’  

Ashley Madison was at the middle of a media storm in 2015 when private information, including credit card numbers, was leaked.

The information included intimate data from nearly 40 million people.

CasualX has 3.7million monthly users and Mr Zhang says: ‘It seems that we have to change our image since we are afraid that we don’t have enough resources to defeat them. 

‘They have a lot of money and resources to deal with any legal issue.’





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